City Hall Plaza Revamp | Government Center

xec

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Two more top down views of the progress as if stands: first a nighttime view showing the lighting, and a rather wonky daytime one.
View attachment 27155
View attachment 27154
I like it, at least in the aerial photos above. The space has a feeling of structure, flow and boundaries to it that it was totally lacking as a boundless open wasteland. Before, there was no "there" there, and it looks like now there is. Of course, I haven't seen it in person, so I don't know if it feels that way at ground level.
 

dhawkins

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Street level shots
The plaza still feels as huge and open as before; except for more trees. I will say the plaza's sense of a plaza is improved by the new towers. The tree pits are very small, not much room for the trunks to grow. Also, is there is an irrigation system? If not they are going to die off fairly quickly out once the water bags are taken out.

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The center of the plaza is still very large. I'm curious if it will feel more like a plaza space when standing in the middle of the space between the groups of trees. Plenty of room for the winter festival if it returns.

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Great improvement to the main entry, the "grand ramp" vs. the previous stairs, much more pedestrian and wheelchair friendly. And the podium to the left side of the photo is an improvement as an alternative "speaker platform" than what was previously up the brick ramp that takes you up under city hall. (number 11 on the plan )

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eber

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Do we have an idea when this will be complete and open to the public? Another month or two or are we waiting till next year?
 

Gunner02

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Street level shots
The plaza still feels as huge and open as before; except for more trees. I will say the plaza's sense of a plaza is improved by the new towers. The tree pits are very small, not much room for the trunks to grow. Also, is there is an irrigation system? If not they are going to die off fairly quickly out once the water bags are taken out.

View attachment 27575

The center of the plaza is still very large. I'm curious if it will feel more like a plaza space when standing in the middle of the space between the groups of trees. Plenty of room for the winter festival if it returns.

View attachment 27576

Great improvement to the main entry, the "grand ramp" vs. the previous stairs, much more pedestrian and wheelchair friendly. And the podium to the left side of the photo is an improvement as an alternative "speaker platform" than what was previously up the brick ramp that takes you up under city hall. (number 11 on the plan )

View attachment 27577


View attachment 27578
I'm just like.. kind of confused. We have this incredible FernGully like 100 feet away in the Greenway that has set the tone for amassing diverse horticulture in city space. Then we look at taking all bricks out which was a sick idea but then we instead re-brick, take four out at a time, suffocate a tree and call it wicked sick refurb.

I had a Jameson on the rocks and live in hell in NYC, but wtf is with the bricks. Boston Brick Lobbyism is still strong AF.
 

KentXie

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I'm just like.. kind of confused. We have this incredible FernGully like 100 feet away in the Greenway that has set the tone for amassing diverse horticulture in city space. Then we look at taking all bricks out which was a sick idea but then we instead re-brick, take four out at a time, suffocate a tree and call it wicked sick refurb.

I had a Jameson on the rocks and live in hell in NYC, but wtf is with the bricks. Boston Brick Lobbyism is still strong AF.
Yeah I don't get it either. They should have just committed to having more greenery. The top part sort of gets it right but the rest is just too much bricks
 

Scott

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I am really happy with all of this but the first thing I would have done is plan to remove the brick pavers in favor of something more pedestrian friendly
 

bdurden

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Something about the abundance of brick in plazas inevitably looks worn and drab. Given that City Hall has large brick sections already, it seems foreboding in this setting.
 

Life Coach Mike

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Yeah I don't get it either. They should have just committed to having more greenery. The top part sort of gets it right but the rest is just too much bricks
I'll never forget when the city did a beautiful job planting the median of Cambridge St. from City Hall to MGH with flowers, bushes, and trees. Soon after, a parade went through to celebrate a sports team's victory. The entire planting was trampled by crowds who had no respect for public property. They never replaced the plantings. The same had happened on Boston Common when the Pope celebrated mass in the rain. The entire side of the common over the garage was a muddy mess that took several years and perimeter fencing before grass return to the area. The brick on CHP is meant to accommodate the crowds that gather for big celebrations. How do you think more greenery and flowers would survive them?
 

KentXie

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I'll never forget when the city did a beautiful job planting the median of Cambridge St. from City Hall to MGH with flowers, bushes, and trees. Soon after, a parade went through to celebrate a sports team's victory. The entire planting was trampled by crowds who had no respect for public property. They never replaced the plantings. The same had happened on Boston Common when the Pope celebrated mass in the rain. The entire side of the common over the garage was a muddy mess that took several years and perimeter fencing before grass return to the area. The brick on CHP is meant to accommodate the crowds that gather for big celebrations. How do you think more greenery and flowers would survive them?
I don't know? Maybe ask the guys maintaining the Hatch Shell and the Esplanade what their secret is considering they hold the July 4th celebration there every year. Chicago also does a good job maintaining Grant Park despite hosting Lollapalooza every year
 
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Charlie_mta

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I'm just like.. kind of confused. We have this incredible FernGully like 100 feet away in the Greenway that has set the tone for amassing diverse horticulture in city space. Then we look at taking all bricks out which was a sick idea but then we instead re-brick, take four out at a time, suffocate a tree and call it wicked sick refurb.

I had a Jameson on the rocks and live in hell in NYC, but wtf is with the bricks. Boston Brick Lobbyism is still strong AF.
Instead of the drab, bumpy bricks, something like this would have been awesome:
 

Brattle Loop

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Instead of the drab, bumpy bricks, something like this would have been awesome:
I feel like that would turn into a skating rink in the Boston winters (though whether that's a liability or a selling point, I'm not sure).
 

RandomWalk

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MAAB rules will govern the surface materials for the circulation areas, so it may have been a choice between wire-cut brick or concrete.
 

Cortes

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I'll never forget when the city did a beautiful job planting the median of Cambridge St. from City Hall to MGH with flowers, bushes, and trees. Soon after, a parade went through to celebrate a sports team's victory. The entire planting was trampled by crowds who had no respect for public property. They never replaced the plantings. The same had happened on Boston Common when the Pope celebrated mass in the rain. The entire side of the common over the garage was a muddy mess that took several years and perimeter fencing before grass return to the area. The brick on CHP is meant to accommodate the crowds that gather for big celebrations. How do you think more greenery and flowers would survive them?
Exactly. Copley Plaza will similarly see a reduction of grass due to large scale gatherings destroying it repeatedly.
 

stellarfun

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The recently overhauled Franklin Park in DC seems to have struck the right balance without relying on brick:

Franklin Park is less green than before. It is anomalous, in that it is a Federal park, maintained by the National Park Service. There was never brick in DC's Franklin Park. DC dislikes brick, except in historic areas like Georgetown, a National Historic Landmark historic district. And even larger NHL historic district is Nantucket, which loves it cobblestones.

In DC, the comparable area to City Hall Plaza is Freedom Plaza.

https://goo.gl/maps/xsd32SeLT6RhEbfk8

^^^ Freedom Plaza on a cold day in January about 19 months ago. The main entrance to City Hall is just beyond the American flag on the flagpole. About a fifth of the Plaza is out of view at image right.
 

bdurden

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Franklin Park is less green than before. It is anomalous, in that it is a Federal park, maintained by the National Park Service. There was never brick in DC's Franklin Park. DC dislikes brick, except in historic areas like Georgetown, a National Historic Landmark historic district. And even larger NHL historic district is Nantucket, which loves it cobblestones.

In DC, the comparable area to City Hall Plaza is Freedom Plaza.

https://goo.gl/maps/xsd32SeLT6RhEbfk8

^^^ Freedom Plaza on a cold day in January about 19 months ago. The main entrance to City Hall is just beyond the American flag on the flagpole. About a fifth of the Plaza is out of view at image right.
I’m not sure what point you are making here.

“DC dislikes brick” — who is DC?
Plenty of brick areas in DC.
Plenty of cobblestones in Nantucket.
 
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Life Coach Mike

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I don't know? Maybe ask the guys maintaining the Hatch Shell and the Esplanade what their secret is considering they hold the July 4th celebration there every year. Chicago also does a good job maintaining Grant Park despite hosting Lollapalooza every year
I think it has to do with several factors: The Hatch Shell area has limited crowd use in the summer. There's plenty of room and it's used passively. Not a lot of people jumping up and down; it's a crowd that sits and listens. No snow or rain to muddy up the field. Grass recovers more quickly in the summer (and it isn't exactly a lush lawn to start with).
 

Scott

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The Esplanade was not in the shape you see today in the 70's and 80's. Comparing the contemporary to the past is not apples to apples.
 

KentXie

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I think it has to do with several factors: The Hatch Shell area has limited crowd use in the summer. There's plenty of room and it's used passively. Not a lot of people jumping up and down; it's a crowd that sits and listens. No snow or rain to muddy up the field. Grass recovers more quickly in the summer (and it isn't exactly a lush lawn to start with).
I'm guessing what event being hosted at city hall has a lot of jumping up and down? You mention sports championship but that doesn't even happen every year. I know they host the occasionally show or showcases at City Hall but those aren't festivals or raves (not since Boston Calling moved).
 

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